Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

Bobbi Brown Metallic Long Wear Cream Eyeshadows
Bobbi Brown Chrome Patina, Goldstone, Starry Night Metallic Long Wear Cream Eyeshadows

Bobbi Brown Metallic Long Wear Cream Eyeshadows: Chrome Patina, Goldstone, Starry Night

Bobbi Brown Metallic Long-Wearing Cream Eyeshadow ($22.00 for .12 oz.) is a new product launched this September from Bobbi Brown. They’re inspired by and yet a bit of a departure from her classic Long-Wear Cream Eyeshadows. They seem to be the same on the surface, but when I played with three of them, I found them to be a bit different.

“With these shadows there’s no need to choose function over style. They’re longwearing and come in the most glamorous, eye-catching shades ever.” – Bobbi Brown

The Metallic Long-Wear Cream Eyeshadow is available in eight shades:

  • Antique Gold A deep gold sparkle
  • Black Pearl A medium purple
  • Brown Metal A warm brown sparkle
  • Chrome Patina A golden pewter
  • Goldstone A gold sparkle
  • Mercury A silver sparkle
  • Starry Night A navy blue sparkle
  • Starry Purple A deep purple sparkle

I tried three: Chrome Patina, Goldstone, and Starry Purple. Chrome Patina is a sheer, glittery wash of pewter with gold sparkle. Goldstone is a semi-opaque toned-down gold with a brown cast and brighter gold sparkle. Starry Night is a sheer, glittery navy blue concotion with almost multicolored sparkle.

I’m actually surprised by Bobbi Brown’s introduction of these glittery shadows to her line-up, just because they’re a bit over the top with how glittery they are. I do, however, think they’re fun and will definitely wear them myself, but I can see some avoiding these because the glitter finish feels inappropriate or accentuates signs of aging on the eyes (as frosts and glitters often do).

Sheer or opaque?

It seems like your mileage will vary from shade to shade, because Goldstone had the best finish and pigmentation, going on nearly opaque, while both Chrome Patina and Starry Night were sheerer and therefore the look glitter was emphasized (instead of a more metalized look). I do wish they were more pigmented so they had a much smoother look and were more the metallic finish they’re touted to be than glitter. (I would personally call these Glitter Long-Wearing Eyeshadows from my experience so far.)

How well do they wear?

They wear very well, just like the original Cream Eyeshadows. They are long-wearing and hold up throughout day without smudging, fading, or creasing. I actually wasn’t sure if they would work out, because they feel very wet when you initially apply them, but they do dry down completely and aren’t subject to creasing (even when worn alone). I found it a bit difficult to blend cream shadows on top of this color or with it once it was dry, so you do have to work quickly if you are trying to use cream shadows together. If you just want to layer on powder shadows over the glittery base, there’s no need to be concerned over timing.

Wait — you can wear these as liner, too!

If you aren’t so much a fan of glitter eyeshadow, there is one alternative usage that I actually may find myself using these more for than as shadows — eyeliner!  I think these are excellent to layer over (or for some, worn alone — again, depends on how sheer the shade is) say a fiercely intense black liner for an extra kick.  Ohh!  I’m getting excited just thinking about experimenting now…

Are they worth the price tag?

As far as value goes, Bobbi Brown provides enough product in each pot to make it about as much and priced as I’d expect for the Bobbi Brown product range. Benefit cream eyeshadows are slightly cheaper ($19.00 for .16 oz.), while these are more affordable than NARS cream eyeshadows ($21.00 for 0.1 oz.) and less of an investment as shu uemura’s ($30.00 for .17 oz.). Despite the pot feeling and looking small (reminded me of gel liner sizes), it does hold more product than it seems. The packaging is classic Bobbi Brown: clear, glass with a black screw-on lid. It’s hefty, but I don’t mind — I like seeing non-plastic packaging.

  • Product: 7/10
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 7/10
  • Packaging: 8/10

Recommendation: If you love shimmering glitter, you might love these to layer underneath your eyeshadows or as a quick wash of color (at least, some of the more neutral shades). I definitely recommend checking them out in person and seeing how the shade you’re most interested in swatches, because it may or may not be pigmented enough for your liking.

Availability: Nordstrom, Bobbi Brown

See swatches and photosContinue reading →

Monday, August 31st, 2009

True Blue Morocco Cedarood & Spice Warming Body Scrub is a Bit Cool

Cedarwood & Spice Warming Body Scrub ($15.00 for 6 oz.) is a spicy, exotic smelling body scrub.  It’s designed to warm on contact with the skin to be both soothing and invigorating.

It’s a mild exfoliant with a very fine particles, actually feels fine enough to be more of a body polish than a scrub. I actually found that there was not enough scrubbies in it to really make an effective scrub, just because you either use a ton or you end up having them sparsely on your legs/arms. I did, however, really enjoy the warming sensation! I just wished the warmth would last longer or allow me to spread it out a bit more before the sensation began. I found it worked well in spots, but it didn’t work so well when I wanted to lather and massage it into a larger area of skin (e.g. a leg).

So, if it doesn’t do much scrubbing and the warming sensation is short-lived, what makes me like this product anyway? Because it smells divine! It is a fairly strong aroma of sandalwood, amber, musk, and cedarwood. It’s very spicy and woody–very masculine in a way. I like! I’m just a fan of some of these darker, woodier scents, and it actually lingers on skin all day long. I’ve found most body scrubs and gels to have great scents while I’m in the shower, but they fade shortly after I’ve toweled dry. That is certainly not the case here–the scent is noticeable but not overwhelming; you could layer with a similar scented body lotion, too, but even alone, it works as a very subtle, muted fragrance.

This product has so much potential to be amazing–I really would love to see the addition of more scrub particles so it actually exfoliates well. Even though it doesn’t feel like there is much scrubbing action, it does leave skin soft and smooth wherever you do scrub, and the scrubbing particles don’t disappear/melt away quickly, so you can massage it in a bit. I like more in my scrub, but perhaps there are others who like a much finer, lighter scrub.

  • Product: 6/10
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 7/10
  • Packaging: 8/10

Recommendation: If it weren’t for the heady spicy, woody scent, I might find this product pretty useless. Because I do love the scent and it lingers throughout the day, I do find myself reaching it for often. It can also be nice to use on specific, targeted areas like feet or on a strained muscle to take advantage of the warming sensation.

Availability: Bath & Body Works

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

MAC Makeup Art Cosmetics Collection — In the Gallery Eyeshadow Quad

As envisioned by Richard Phillips, three eyeshadow quads were developed for the upcoming MAC Makeup Art Cosmetics Collection. This post will focus on In the Gallery Eyeshadow Quad!

Private Viewing Eyeshadow Quad ($36.00)

  • Lightfall is an extremely sheer, satiny pale pink with lavender. If you have anything beyond a pale skin tone, this color is going to take work to show up. I couldn’t use a brush or a finger to swatch–I had to use a sponge-tip applicator and really dig into the color and layer it over five times to get the color to show up as it does in the swatch below. I was not pleased to say the least! Over a base, I imagine a little less work would be necessary, but that’s true for every color.
  • Look at the Eyes is a shimmery silvery-puprle with light silver-pink shimmer. It has a frost finish, but it doesn’t appear overly frosty. This reminded me a bit of Beautiful Iris eyeshadow.
  • In the Gallery is a matte eggplant-purple–reminded me a bit of Fig. 1 eyeshadow, though it’s not ultra pigmented and can be a bit chalky when applying.
  • Private Viewing is a plummy, red-brown. It is also matte, like In the Gallery, but it doesn’t feel as chalky. It could be smoother–more like Matte2s, IMO. This felt like a more purple Sketch eyeshadow to me.

This is a true purple quad–every color is tinted with it. I like the way the colors match each other, and I think you can get several different color combinations out of this quad. I’ve always been a fan of MAC’s quad packaging, because you get the ease and slimness of palettes, but you can see through the lid, too, which is always nice if you’re guilty of owning a few too many quads like myself! It’s not the most original set of shades, but they work well together. Because the two matte eyeshadows do have some drag, and Lightfall requires far too many layers to show up, I wouldn’t put this on my must-have list.

  • Product: 6/10
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 7/10
  • Packaging: 9/10

Recommendation: If you’re all about purple eyeshadows, you should certainly check this quad out, since it is ALL about purples! Just make sure you have a good eyeshadow base if you become an owner of one of these, because the shadows don’t work so well without one.

Availability: MACCosmetics.com (August 20th), MAC stores

See up-close photos and swatchesContinue reading →

Friday, August 14th, 2009


Jupitesse Liquid Patent Lip

Kevyn Aucoin: The Liquid Patent Lip

Kevyn Aucoin The Liquid Patent Lip ($27.00) is a liquid lip color designed to give you lips that look like glossy, patent leather. It comes in a twist-up container with a white bristled brush applicator. I’ve never been a huge fan of this gloss/color delivery system, just because so much product gets stuck in the brush, and if you don’t wash the brush (which I get concerned over any water/soap getting back into the product), it can get pretty gross. I usually take a makeup remover wipe and then I brush this back and forth to remove the majority of the product without contaminating the product itself. From my HauteLook order, I purchased three shades:

  • Jupitesse is a dark purple-black with fine multicolored shimmer running through it. This one is particularly difficult to apply evenly and opaquely on lips. I had the most trouble with this shade, and I would not recommend it.
  • Infernelle is a semi-opaque deep red that went on much better than Jupitesse. It was smooth, left a lovely glossy finish, and gave my lips plenty of color without being completely opaque. A bonus was Infernelle turned out to be a very wearable red, because it wasn’t bright or overly bold.
  • Nyalia is a pretty pink with just a little bit of coral to it and nearly no shimmer. I felt this one had the best application–look and feel–compared to the other two I tried. It was smooth, opaque, and just glossy enough (though I wouldn’t say it had a patent lip look). This shade was very wearable and perfect for summer.

I think Kevyn Aucoin may have discontinued the Liquid Patent Lip colors, though they’re still available via the brand’s website. I don’t love these, just because I’m not a fan of this type of gloss applicator. Of the three I tried, Nyalia had the best overall application and look, but I feel these may be a bit too hit or miss, since Jupitesse left much to be desired, and Infernelle needed to be smoothed out with my lips since the applicator left streaks.

  • Product: 6/10
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 6/10
  • Packaging: 5/10

Recommendation: If you like ultra glossy lip color that goes on semi-opaque, Kevyn Aucoin’s Liquid Patent Lip might be for you. If you like brush-type glosses like these, you may find this more to your liking than I did. Personally, I don’t recommend these products unless you’ve gotten a chance to play with them in-store.

Availability: KevynAucoinDirect.com

See more photos/swatchesContinue reading →